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Via Christi first in Kansas to employ high-tech method for assessing burns

Laser Doppler Imager

Via Christi Hospital St. Francis’ Regional Burn Center is the first in Kansas and its surrounding states to use new technology that allows clinicians to more accurately assess the depth of burns.
    
The Laser Doppler Imager is a noninvasive device that scans the wound using laser light. Moving blood cells in the tissue cause Doppler frequency shifts, which then can be used to map blood flow across the skin. 

Once the scan is complete, the imager provides clinicians with a color-coded map of blood flow, which serves as a guide as to how long the burn will take to heal. 

“The LDI is an imaging device that allows us to more accurately determine burn depth, which will aid us in the treatment of burn patients,” said Thomas Resch, MD, medical director for the Via Christi Regional Burn Center. “Having this new technology will help in the decision-making process as to whether surgery is necessary.”

Accurately diagnosing the severity of burns has always been difficult, even for experienced clinicians. According to Moor Instruments, the device’s manufacturer, the best clinicians are 80 percent accurate when assessing intermediate or second-degree burns, while LDI, when combined with clinical assessment, has been shown to be 95 percent accurate as early as 48 hours post burn. Early and accurate burn assessment allows prompt and appropriate treatment, potentially resulting in shorter hospital stay and better patient outcomes. 

The new equipment was funded in part through a grant from Westar Energy. Westar’s contribution was combined with other donated funds received by Via Christi Philanthropy.

“We always try to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve and when we have an opportunity to assist with this type of technology that can help make a difference in people’s lives, we’re very happy to be a part of it,” said Jeff Beasley, Westar’s vice president of Customer Care.

The Via Christi Regional Burn Center recently received another three-year verification as an adult and pediatric burn center by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.